Won’t reject me and won’t tell me he likes me?

This has got a lot of moving parts to it, but I’ll try to summarize so hopefully you can understand where I’m coming from in this place of confusion. I’m a teen, with not a lot of experience with guys because I’ve never been the type to obsess or hush over boys, so this guy has me stumped. My family is pretty close with his and he has become one of my best friends. Majority of people in our circle have been buzzing and many have been convinced that we’re secretly dating, because of how close we act. About a month or two ago, I casually hinted at myself having feelings for him over text, (we are kinda flirty like that,) but he responded really nervously and seemed like he didn’t know what to do/say. I told him I would back off if he wanted me to, but he said “I don’t know.” I literally told him that it’s okay if he felt he needed to reject me and he said “no.” I realize I should not have said this over text and I’m kicking myself because I didn’t realize it would get so serious, but he later texted me that he needed to talk to me in person... but that was 2 months ago. Because our families are very close, his mom is always keeping an eye out and making sure he’s not pulling anything with me. I have no problems with her and vice versa, but she’s very protective and it’s rare that I get time alone with him, but when we do, he avoids the subject like it’s the plague. Still, he is even more flirty than he was before, he’s very touchy feely and is constantly talking about me, to me and literally acts like he’s my boyfriend sometimes. If he wanted to reject me, I’ve made it so easy for him and I know he would start to phase out or distance himself from me. But on the other hand, if it is mutual, he would make the time to tell me how he feels or take whatever opportunity we get. I’ve effortlessly made time to talk about other things privately, why should it be so hard for him if he really did like me?
Won’t reject me and won’t tell me he likes me?
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